Author: Elisabeth And Teije
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We get up at half past 4, after a very short night, but we don't care since we are going on holiday. It is about time, we haven't been on holiday yet, this year... Who cares if the year is only one week old! A bright moon shines when we drive to the airport and we are glad the roads are dry, although the forecast had said it would be icy and slippery. It is still dark when we check in at 7h30 at Schiphol. Almost all seats have been sold and we are almost the last to arrive. So, we don't get a window seat and therefore we don't have any nice aerial pictures.
- 8 January 2004 - The journey to Luxor, Egypt
- 9 January 2004 - Luxor temple and souks
- 10 January 2004 - Luxor, to the Valley of the Kings
- 11 January 2004 - Mummification and Luxormuseum
- 12 January 2004 - Luxor, Karnak temple complex
- 13 January 2004 - Luxor, Ramesseum, temple of Hatshepsut
- 14 January 2004 - Egypt travel account January 2004
- 15 January - Luxor - Edfu - Kom Ombo - Aswan
- 16 January 2004 - Walking through Aswan
- 17 January 2004 - A felouka trip on the Nile
- 18 January 2004 - Visiting Ismael, then the Philae temple
- 19 January 2004 - Aswan, Sound & Light show Philae temple
- 20 January 2004 - Aswan, Nubian museum
- 21 January 2004 - By taxi back to Luxor
- 22 January 2004 - From Luxor going back home in a storm
13 January 2004 - Luxor, Ramesseum, temple of Hatshepsut
Today we start as slow as the other days. Fortunately, there is less wind than yesterday so it feels much warmer. After walking around through Luxor for some time we start drinking coffee at the Metropolitan restaurant, along the Nile.
Then we take the ferryboat to the westbank and rent a cycle at the same shop as a few days before. At the ruins behind the Memnoncolossi a huge group of Egyptians is busy digging in the soil. It is the season for excavations.
Our first visit is to the Ramesseum, the mortuary temple of Ramesses II. We first pass a lot of other mortuary temples when we go there but most of them are not more than ruins of which almost nothing has been preserved. In the Ramesseum excavators are busy fittinf pieces of stone and reconstructing statues.
On our ramshackle bicycles, which are much worse than the ones we have had before, we cycle through very poor looking villages. But most of the begging children have golden earrings, so they probably have money enough for food and clothes. In this hot and dry climate there is no need for well-kept and roofed houses so the poor look will probably always stay.
Our next stop is at the mortuary temple of Hatshepsut. It is an impressive terrace temple which is almost unique to Egypt. Only the temple next to it, almost 600 years older, resembles it and probably was an example for Senenmut, the architect of this this temple.
Hatshepsut was one of the few female rulers of Egypt, but she showed she was strong enough to be king. Her reign was a period of prosperity and she shows in her temple she was very proud of that. Unfortunately, her successor, Tuthmosis III, destroyed a lot of her statues and let chisel away images of her.
One of her deeds was organising trade expeditions to Punt, a country that probably was situated somewhere in nowadays Ethiopia. The expeditions took exotic animals back, like lions, and lots of trees or seeds of trees. Many of them decorated the mortuary temple which must have looked like a more lively temple than most others.
The location against the mountains (behind it lies the Valley of the Kings) is very well chosen and gives the temple something mahestic. One can walk over the mountains from here to the Valley of the Kings, but that is too much for us, today... From here we have enough splendid views over the Nile valley and the inhabitable area.
After spending hours in temples it is time we have a break. We cycle back to the bicycle shop and drink a cup of tea with the owner. Then we go to the roof of the t Nile Valley hotel where we spend another hour watching the traffic below.
Two boys tie up their donkeys to the fence and start to play. A few minutes later there are already four donkeys, braying against each other and passing donkeys.
The camels are also let out of their stables. We haven't seen many tourists riding on one, but at 4 o'clock they are brought to the Nile. When we take this picture one man immediately demands money. 'Why', we ask him, but we don't get an answer. He doesn't get his money. We can also pay him after we have made a ride on the camels, but we aren't in the mood for a camelride.
Ok, the travelogue is a bit shorter than on other days, but it has been a long day as always: dozens of Egyptians with offers we had to decline. No we don't want a cab, no, we don't want a coach, nor a felouka, nor a motorboat, and no, we don't want to visit Banana Island etcetra. No, we don't want a guide; nice of you to explain everything, but we didn't ask for it, please leave us alone and you won't get any money... Sometimes I get very tired of it and then I say lalalala... La is Arabic for 'no'. A very important word in this country for a tourist!
Date: 12/15/2007 12:26:00 PM
very interesting, but I don't agree with you Idetrorce